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Comment: That was a big part for sure (Score 2) 413

by Sycraft-fu (#48949293) Attached to: How, and Why, Apple Overtook Microsoft

My boss got us smartphones back in the Windows CE days, because he's a huge geek like the rest of us. The problem was that while work was willing to pay for the phone part the data was WAAAAY too expensive so we didn't have that. Combine that with lackluster wifi availability and the fact that you had to manually turn it on and off because it drained battery out of range, and we didn't end up using the "smart" portion much. Not because it was too hard to use or any of that BS, but because there just wan't the ability.

Now, data is cheap, and my phone auto roams on and off of wifi, and work has complete wifi coverage. So I use my smartphone often for its "smart" features. It is always on data of some kind and like you, I never get near my cap, particularly because it is usually using wifi.

That is the biggest thing that changed and made smart phones useful to me, and others I know. It because affordable and practical to use the smart features. Data is something that is an included feature in most phone plans these days. $40/month can get you a line with some data.

Another thing that changed is just the progress of technology mainly the processors. Before switching to Android I had a Blackberry, which I loved, except for its slow CPU. Due to the excessive amount of JavaScript and such shit on most websites, browsing with it was slow. Not so much waiting for data, but rendering. However I not can browse whatever I want, my phone has a very high power CPU in it that can deal with all that shit, so it isn't too much slower to load a page than on my desktop.

Touchscreens and such weren't the thing that changed it for me. I still liked Blackberry's real keyboard + scrolly ball interface. It was having an affordable data plan plus a processor capable of handling the BS of the modern web.

Comment: Which he needn't do (Score 1) 173

If you choose not to use the tools available, well don't expect anyone to have sympathy for you or marvel at how hard you had it. You've only yourself to blame. When I wish to mount something in my house I get out a laser level, cordless electric drill with titanium bits, and so on. As such things get put up easily, quickly, and dead level. You could do the same with a rock and sharpened metal pieces, but don't expect me to be impressed with how long it took you or the problems with the results. You could use modern tools, if you chose.

Comment: Is anyone surprised? (Score 5, Insightful) 173

I think some forget, or never knew, that his first book was published 1996. This guy is not a fast writer.

Personally doesn't bother me, since I stopped reading after the third book because the quality tanked so hard. The original Game of Thrones is my all time favourite fantasy novel and I will recommend it all the time. A Clash of Kings was good, but a major step down. I enjoyed it though. A Storm of Swords wasn't very good at all.When A Feast for Crows I asked some people and the answer I universally got was "don't bother" so I didn't. It was also a bit harder to maintain the "givashit" with 5 years intervening instead of 2.

It seems like he more or less ran out of ideas and has bogged things down in to a whole bunch of characters nobody cares about. Ok, he can do as he pleases, but I'll keep my money thanks.

Comment: Re:For all of you USA haters out there: (Score 5, Informative) 368

by hattig (#48931195) Attached to: Why ATM Bombs May Be Coming Soon To the United States

It's the same in the UK, except chip and pin is the default and has been for around eight? ten? years already. I don't know if the magstripe is really used anymore either.

It's quaint seeing a foreigner (American) try to pay for goods with a card, and have to go through special procedures for the signature style payment.

Comment: Re: Honestly... (Score 1) 327

by ahodgson (#48925609) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

Yes, I meant exactly what I said. Without constant inflation, you could save money from working and retire on it. With inflation, you are instead forced to invest that money, generally in financial instruments, and hope that it grows at least as fast as inflation (plus whatever taxes and fees you get charged for the privilege of having your money keep up with inflation). Inflation therefore punishes savers.

The rich have much greater access to and control over productive assets. They control the financial sector, which gains most of the benefits of saver's money being forced into investments. Constant inflation is the largest cause of growing wealth inequality.

Comment: Re:physical access (Score 1) 374

by Sycraft-fu (#48925467) Attached to: Why Screen Lockers On X11 Cannot Be Secure

"Of course, this comparison is also patently unfair -- Windows 7 was written in the 2000s, X11 was written in the 1980s. Expecting them to be comparable in terms of security is pretty ridiculous."

Which could be a good argument for replacing X. It is rather old technology, perhaps it is time to update it to something newer, rather than clinging to it and claiming it is all one needs.

Comment: DoJ zone of lawlessness (Score 5, Insightful) 423

TiggertheMad, a nobody from the Internet, said Tuesday that the he is "very concerned" by the most of the Internet's decision to not automatically encrypt all data. "We understand the value of legal discovery and the importance of enforcing laws," he said. "But we're very concerned they not lead to the creation of what I would call a 'zone of lawlessness,' where the government violates some of our most basic principles in some quixotic hunt to ferret out terrorists and other boogie men. They might actually have to do some actual police work, you know like they did for the last few centuries."

Comment: TEPES (Score 1) 211

by bfwebster (#48920297) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Makes a Great Software Developer?

Having built a long-term development team from scratch, and having screened a lot of consulting software engineers, I eventually came up with an acronym that describes what I look for: Talent, Experience, Professionalism, Education, Skill (TEPES). I wrote a post on the subject back in 2008 -- you can read it here. ..bruce..

Comment: Re: Honestly... (Score 1) 327

by ahodgson (#48918057) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

If you consistently increase the money supply faster than the rate of economic growth, people stop thinking your money is legitimate. Economists call that inflation, and it's used to devalue non-productive savings and make borrowing cheaper, which combined means it's just a way to make rich people richer. It screws everyone else and eventually the inevitable result is a currency crisis.

Comment: Re:This doesn't sound... sound (Score 1) 327

by ahodgson (#48917407) Attached to: Valve's Economist Yanis Varoufakis Appointed Greece's Finance Minister

Borrowing and spending only makes sense if the borrowing leads to enough additional income in the future to justify paying off the interest on the loan. That generally means infrastructure spending, for infrastructure that is actually needed to create real growth.

Borrowing for anything else just makes you poorer in the long term.

Comment: all wubbly and wiggly (Score 1) 124

by TiggertheMad (#48916841) Attached to: Proposed Space Telescope Uses Huge Opaque Disk To Surpass Hubble
The station keeping and vibration might not be a problem - as long as you know what is happening I bet you could digitally correct for it. In fact, that might need to occur in any event, since for the levels of precision, you will probably need to be able to correct for the difference in gravitational forces acting on the ring between sea level and whatever orbit they put it in.

Comment: Who eats doughnuts with the doughnut men? (Score 4, Insightful) 461

by TiggertheMad (#48909099) Attached to: Police Organization Wants Cop-Spotting Dropped From Waze App
Perhaps the police should stop behaving in was that make non-criminals scared of them. The number of dangerous criminals in society is really very small. If this app is downloaded more than a few hundred times that would indicate that more people than just hardened criminals want to keep tabs on cops. Just the download counter for the app could be read as a social barometer of public trust.

Also, the watchmen don't like being watched? Tough shit. You want more power than the average person, you had better get used to extra scrutiny too.

Programmers used to batch environments may find it hard to live without giant listings; we would find it hard to use them. -- D.M. Ritchie